Stephanie DeSouza, MSW, Owner
Stephanie DeSouza founded AMICA after more than a dozen years serving children, teens, and adults with social and learning disabilities. A school counselor, case manager, and certified social worker in private practice, where she specializes in teaching social skills and supporting the families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she also served for five years as the director of a day camp for this population.
Stephanie believes that children with social difficulties can thrive and grow, socially and emotionally, in natural camp and community settings. As an educator and social worker, Stephanie has significant experience in creating and supervising groups that provide social learning opportunities for populations with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and nonverbal learning disabilities. As a camp director, she is skilled in structuring a camp program that blends traditional camp activities with activities that allow campers to practice social proficiencies. Stephanie created AMICA to give children and adolescents a year-round program of age-appropriate activities that support socialization and independence skills.
Amy Ellison, M.Ed., Senior Counselor
Amy Ellison began her career in special education in 2000, as an Instructional Assistant in the Autistic Support program at Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22, Cornwells Elementary School. Finding her passion in serving children with special needs, Amy worked for six years as an assistant while attending Holy Family University at night to earn her bachelor’s degree in Elementary/Special Education.
Upon completing her degree in 2006, she became a teacher in the Autistic Support program at Cornwells and remained there until 2014. She is currently working at Herbert Hoover Elementary in a 1st/2nd grade Autistic Support classroom. In 2010 Amy earned her master’s degree in Education from Cabrini College. She is dedicated to helping children on the spectrum and their families.
Arlene Toledano, M.Ed., Senior Counselor
Arlene Toledano is one of the senior counselors for the kids camp. 2015 will be Arlene’s third summer working as a camp counselor for AMICA. In 2009, she received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Temple University and received her Masters Degree in Special Education/Elementary Education in 2012 from Holy Family University. Over the past two years Arlene has been employed with the Pennsbury School District working in various positions in the field of Special Education. Arlene truly loves being a teacher because the children that she has the privilege of working with teach her something new everyday. She looks forward to another FUN and EXCITING summer at AMICA!
Meghann Hernandez, M.Ed., BSL, Director
Meghann Hernandez has extensive experience working with kids and teens with special needs in both educational and camp settings. Meghann is Pennsylvania certified in Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Temple University in 2005, and received her master’s degree in Education from Holy Family University in 2010. Meghann is also a Licensed Behavior Specialist. She has been teaching in public and private schools since 2005, and has worked with students with autism spectrum disorders since 2006.
During the school year, Meghann works as the Academic Programming Coordinator in a private school serving children with special needs. Her camp experience includes 10 years working with Stephanie DeSouza. Meghann has served as Director of AMICA Camp since it’s inception in 2012.